I remember the days when eating out would mean heading to a restaurant serving Chinese dishes and although it was a heavy dose of Indian Chinese, my palate would be satiated with a taste of international cuisine. But as we got a taste of different flavours, our palates were introduced to several cuisines. Italian and Thai were one of the earliest cuisines to make an appearance in the restaurant scene but then there has been a sudden explosion of flavours from all over the world. Be it the Far Eastern or Middle East, the European or the Mexican we can savour different dishes. In the Asian scenario, while Vietnamese, Burmese, Korean and Japanese have become very popular, there has been a plethora of dishes from the Middle East, especially from Lebanon and Turkey. Mexican cuisine is another favourite, along with Spanish. More exotic and exclusive restaurants are opening up serving authentic international cuisine and the menu has more variety to offer. Here are four popular international cuisines that are making a wave in India
Think Japanese cuisine and you think of sushi or sashimi, which literally means raw fish. But there is more to it. From the bento box to sukiyaki, Japanese cuisine has so much more to often and I even found an array of vegetarian dishes that even includes rice, curry or noodles. Teppanyaki restaurants have opened up and while some cater to the Japanese visitors, there is a steady flow of Indians who are appreciating this international cuisine. I have been to a couple of restaurants and have been fascinated by the live Teppanyaki counter and the dishes that I have tasted.
I love Vietnamese coffee but that is not the only thing I love about the country. I visited Vietnam last year and although I was told that it’s difficult to get vegetarian fare there, my hostess at Hoi An took me to some amazing eateries where I tried out the local vegetarian food . She told me that one of her dreams is to open a Vietnamese restaurant in India. In fact , there re quite a few restaurants in India today and even Bangalore, where I live, has a couple of them. Besides Pho, which is the quintessential Vietnamese soup served with meat and chicken, other popular dishes include Cha Ca Thang Long, which is their version of grilled fish and Goi Cuon – rice paper rolls that includes vegetables, noodles, seafood and meat . There are vegetarian versions as well like Xoi Chay, which is sticky rice served with vegetables, spices and herbs, Banh Mi Chay, a baguette inspired by French cuisine and is filled with tofu, eggs and cheese. My favourites are the Potato Cakes called Banh Khoai Tay Chien and has mashed or deeply fried sweet potato with beans and coconut and served with spicy peanut sauce.
Think Lebanese cuisine and you think of delicious falafels, pita bread, lavash, hummus and a variety of spicy and flavoursome dips like tahini or red capsicum and walnut or with eggplant and baba ganoush among others. The salads are amazing, be it tabbouleh or fattoush and Lebanese cuisine is known for its delicious vegetarian spread with dollops of olive oil. There are several dishes with meat and fish like kibbeh and kafta . While the Meditarranean flavours are now available anywhere in the Middle East, this international cuisine is extremely popular in India with so many restaurants .’
During one of my first international trips, I lived mainly on Mexican cuisine, with burritos and tortillas, nachos and tacos. I fell in love with spicy dips like guacamole, the traditional Mexican Avocado Dip and delicious Mexican Cheese Fajitas. So, whenever I plan to head out to a restaurant here, I look out for authentic Mexican restaurants serving all these dishes. There are grilled vegetarian quesadillas or those served with cheese and chilly. Corn Tacos are another favourite served with spicy salsa. While Mexican cuisine has a lot of vegetarian options, you get chicken and meat dishes as well.
These are just some of the popular international cuisine that are available in India – but you can find many others like Spanish, Nordic, French, German, Korean, Malaysian, Turkish and Thai among others. There is even a Khmer restaurant opened recently in Bangalore as I write this piece. Most restaurants today have taken all the precautions that are required to function and have put safety as their primary concern. And you can also order take-aways. However, there is nothing quite like sitting in a beautiful restaurant with your friends and family, taking in the atmosphere and tasting delicious flavours from around the world. And you can enjoy your meal with the SimplySAVE SBI Card. The dessert here is the Reward Points you get – 10 Reward Points on every Rs 100 spent on dining. You can even get 2,000 bonus reward points on spends of Rs. 2,000 in the first 60 days. Besides dining, you can use your card in departmental and grocery stores as well & still earn 10 Reward Points for every Rs.100 spent. There is 1% fuel surcharge waiver across all petrol pumps as well and the annual fees are reversed on spends of Rs. 1,00,000 and above. So, go ahead and travel around the world through delicious flavours cooked in the restaurant near you.